Kids from 3 to 83 years old beat candy labeled "Justice" out of a big Texas-shaped piqata on Aug. 1 as dozens gathered in the Houston City Hall Park to celebrate the 30th birthday of Nanon Williams, an innocent person on Texas death row.
Amid cries of "We want justice," "Where's the justice in Texas," and "Beat it out of Texas, now," the candy flew out of the piqata after almost everyone got to beat "Texas" with a few strong swings. Because of false testimony by the now-discredited Houston Police Crime Lab in his 1995 trial, Williams sits on death row waiting for Texas justice. He has been locked up since he was 17 years old.
As family, friends and supporters sang "Happy Birthday" and ate cake and ice cream without Williams, it was apparent to all that justice comes very slowly in Texas.
Those celebrating took turns reading aloud pages of birthday greetings that were emailed to the party's organizers in the Texas Death Penalty Abolition Movement. Readers included Kofi Taharka of the National Black United Front, Brother Equality with the Blackout Arts Collective, Art Browning of the Green Party, Alma Cooper and Henry Cooper of KPFT Pacifica Radio, Marta Olvera of the Serafin Olvera Pro Justice Committee, and Williams' cousin Bryan Williams.
The Australian Coalition Against the Death Penalty wrote: "It may thrill you to know that American ambassador in Australia, Tom Schiefer, had brown hair three years ago--but since he's had to deal with ACADP on almost a weekly basis, we have watched his hair (the little we can see on his head anyway) slowing turning grey.
"Have a cool birthday Nanon. Our special Aussie hugs and kisses are being sent all the way to Texas. We'll be playing and dancing for you around the Didgeridoo and celebrating your birthday, eating them Aussie traditional meat pie 'n' sauce, then washing it down with a pint of Fosters. Love and best wishes to all on Death Row Texas."
A message from Claudia in Germany said: "You belong to the juveniles on death row like my friend, Eddie. I have you all in my thoughts and prayers ... . I wish for you that you will be freed from death row and then can walk out one day. Stay strong. I know your time will come. Happy Birthday!"
Native activist Jacquelyn Battise of the Alabama-Coushatta Nation wrote: "Today we honor that time when you were first welcomed into this world. Now as you continue your journey you have endured the treachery that has been aimed at you, that was aimed at your father.
"We are all the descendants of strong, powerful and brilliant people before the invasion, the colonization. We are interconnected, no matter how much they try to separate us. Thank you for surviving, thank you for making it this far. Thank you for your voice."
By Workers World Newspaper posted 13 August, 2004
Williams' recent autobiography, "Still Surviving," can be purchased online at - Left Books.com Support letters can be sent to: Nanon Williams #999163, Polunsky Unit, 3872 FM 350 South, Livingston, TX 77351.
THE LAND OF BIBLES, GUNS, PATRIOTS AND THE 'WORLD ROLE MODEL' FOR HUMAN RIGHTS: The state of Alabama, USA, executed James Barney Hubbard. So what? ... you might say ... America executes prisoners almost every week!
Doing Time for Political Crime
Dave Gilbert, serving a life-sentence in New York, has just come out with an important, wonderful book, No Surrender: Writings from an anti-imperialist political prisoner, and Staughton Lynd, counsellor to death row in Ohio, has just published the scathing j’accuse of our times, Lucasville: The Untold Story of a Prison Uprising.
Appealing a Death Sentence Based on Future Danger USA-HOUSTON, June 9 - Texas juries in capital cases must make a prediction. They may impose a death sentence only if they find that the defendant will probably commit more violent acts.
Death Penalty Forensics?
In proposing a new death penalty for Massachusetts last month, Governor Mitt Romney offered firm assurance that no innocent people would be executed: Convictions, he said, will be based on science.
Clive Stafford-Smith: The Death Penalty
British lawyer Clive Stafford-Smith, who for the last 20 years has worked with death row prisoners in the U.S. is returning to his home in Britain, to fight for the Guantanamo Bay prisoners in Cuba.
Silencing the Cells: Mass Incarceration and Legal Repression in U.S. Prisons People without a voice are not people in any meaningful sense of the word. Silenced people cannot express their ideas; they can neither consent nor protest. They are reduced to being pawns in the schemes of the powerful, mendicants who must accept whatever is imposed upon them. In order to keep people in a state of subjugation, silencing their voices is essential. Nowhere is this clearer than in U.S. prisons.
U.N. Group Seeks End To Executions The United States, Japan, China, India and Muslim nations including Saudi Arabia opposed the resolution. Burkina Faso, Cuba, Guatemala, South Korea and Sri Lanka abstained.
US Execution: Huang Thanh Le
Dear Friends, this is so sad especially for our dear friend, San Nguyen. San who lives in Oklahoma worked very hard with the rest of the Vietnamese community to stop Mr. Le's execution.
US Execution: Please contact the Governor
The Vietnamese-American Community, the ACLU, and many others want the March 30 execution of Huang Thanh Le commuted.
Death penalty: a lawyer sees the light
The observation by [Cherie Blair?] "Americans are from Mars and Europeans are from Venus" is illustrated by the two nations' differing reactions to the use of the death penalty as a legitimate punishment for murder.
Cherie Blair attacks US over death penalty in Catholic paper
Cherie Blair has renewed her attack on America's use of the death penalty. In a book review in the Catholic journal The Tablet, under her maiden name Cherie Booth, she says: "Capital cases are uniquely prone to error and thus call into question whether we can ever be really sure of obtaining the just result.
Insane prisoner granted stay in the USA
The case of a condemned killer with a history of paranoid delusions and violent outbursts raises questions about executing the mentally ill.
OHIO: Judges join dissent on execution delay
Lewis Williams - his attorneys argued that he was mentally retarded, was executed by lethal injection on Jan. 14 2004 in Lucasville, Ohio at age 45.
Mexico Awaits Hague Ruling on Citizens on U.S. Death Row
Sbaldo Torres, a convicted murderer on death row in Oklahoma, should have been dead by now, his appeals exhausted, his time up. But because 15 judges in The Hague, acting at the request of the government of Mexico, have forbidden his execution for now, he is alive in a cell in McAlester, awaiting the next move from the Netherlands.
Jury Passes On Business Of Killing
US: This drives the death penalty crowd in the legislature nuts. Yet another jury - another 12 men and women, tried and true, who had all attested to their belief in the death penalty - has refused to join in the killing business.
Ultimate Punishment: Dealing With the Death Penalty
Scott Turow has long juggled two careers‹that of a novelist and that of a lawyer. He wrote much of his first and best known legal thriller, Presumed Innocent, on the commuter train to and from work during the eight years he spent as an Assistant United States Attorney in Chicago, and he has churned out another blockbuster every third year since joining the firm of Sonnenschein Nath and Rosenthal in 1986.
A Question of Innocence Rubin Carter: Day after day, week after week, I would sit in that filthy cell, seething. I was furious at everyone. At the two state witnesses who lied, at the police who put them up to it, at the prosecutor who sanctioned it, at the judge who allowed it, at the jury who accepted it, and at my own lawyer, for not being able to defeat it.
Are you sane enough to be executed?
New York: The US Supreme Court has let stand a ruling by a federal appeals court in February that officials in the state of Arkansas had the right to force a convicted murderer to take drug treatment to make him sane enough to be executed.
Amnesty steps up campaign to abolish death penalty
Human rights watchdog Amnesty International is urging people around the world to pressure countries to abolish the death penalty. Amnesty director Irene Khan has released a statement, which raps governments for carrying out "executions".
Port Lincoln Mayor has lost the plot!
Controversial Port Lincoln Mayor Peter Davis has called for drug addicts to be given a lethal injection to cut rising illicit drug use on South Australia's Eyre Peninsula.
'LAND OF THE FREE' SET TO EXECUTE TWO PRISONERS BY FIRING SQUAD: Wanted: Willing executioners for two convicted murderers. Must be psychologically sound and familiar with .30-calibre rifles. No victims' relatives need apply.
There has been some debate whether: 'Capital punishment should be re-instated in Australia, since the terrible events that took place in Bali' In all democratic nations, every human being is considered innocent of any alleged crime, until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt by a court of law. For this reason, certain safeguards must be used for capital punishment cases.
TEXAS EXECUTES 300th PRISONER
Keith Clay was executed tonight, becoming the 300th prisoner in Texas to die by lethal injection since the rogue state resumed the death penalty 20 years ago.
AUSTRALIAN COALITION AGAINST DEATH PENALTY
" ... Our nation was built on a promise of life and liberty for all citizens. Guided by a deep respect for human dignity, our Founding Fathers worked to secure these rights for future generations, and today we continue to seek to fulfil their promise in our laws and our society.
Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty
Please note the following article carefully.....it shows clearly the hateful, uncaring and anti-human rights attitude as reflected by the Governor of Texas (and most other elected Texas officials).
Supreme Court Justice Blocks Execution
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens blocked Indiana from putting to death its oldest death row inmate Tuesday to give the 71-year-old prisoner, who is partially deaf and blind, extra time to file federal appeals.
Stephen Romei: Death knell sounds for US capital law
GEORGE RYAN, outgoing governor of the US state of Illinois a republican who leaves office today, has put US capital punishment on the road to oblivion by commuting the sentences of all 167 of the state's death row inmates. Three were re-sentenced to 40 years' jail and the remaining 164 got life without parole.
Bush rules out death sentence review US President George W Bush says has dismissed any chance of a review of America's system of capital punishment.
Amnesty urges Bush to shut death row
Human rights watchdog Amnesty International has urged US President George W. Bush to take a "moral stand" and abolish the death penalty after the Illinois Governor dramatically emptied that state's death row.
USA - A NATION IN TURMOIL: As the year 2002 draws to a close, little if anything, has changed in the United States in regards to state-sanctioned killing. Various campaigns, calls for clemency, petitions, and international condemnation, have failed to humanize U.S. politicians.
Here come de Judge - Time to Leave 
There have always been examples of rulings and interpretations that have supported the saying "The law is an ass". This is increasingly the case, because even the best intentioned judges are now facing an avalanche of new technologies and social change. But, it is no good making excuses for the judiciary and continuing to accept their strange interpretations. We must recognise that not only judges but the whole legal system will struggle more and more. In the end the whole system will become a farce. This is the way empires end.
Govt, police 'let off the hook' Haneef inquiry
8 years ago